REVIEW: ‘Next in Fashion’ brings back the real to reality TV

REVIEW: ‘Next in Fashion’ brings back the real to reality TV
Season two of Next in Fashion stars Gigi Hadid and Tan France as co-hosts. (Netflix)
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Updated 20 June 2023
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REVIEW: ‘Next in Fashion’ brings back the real to reality TV

REVIEW: ‘Next in Fashion’ brings back the real to reality TV
  • Show’s compassion signals end of the era of scathing competition judges
  • Gigi Hadid starring as co-host is another celebratory win for Arab heritage

LONDON: Netflix’s “Next in Fashion” is back for a second season, starring American supermodel Gigi Hadid and British TV personality Tan France as co-hosts.

The reality show, which aired on March 3, features 12 promising designers competing in weekly design challenges to win $200,000 and a chance to debut their collection on e-commerce platform Rent the Runway.

The new season boasts an ensemble of fashion royalty appearing alongside France and Hadid as guest judges.

It features A-list designers, such as Donatella Versace, Isabel Marant and Olivier Rousteing, as well as powerful dressers, including Bella Hadid, Emma Chamberlain and Hailey Bieber.

The lineup certainly supports the title’s authority on future trends in the industry.

Producers have avoided chaos and drama, while showmanship is replaced with sportsmanship.

Rather than being pitted against one another, contestants cheer on their fellow designers and exit with grace after being eliminated.

The judges display a compassionate model of mentorship, offering emotional support along the journey.

“Next in Fashion” signals the end of the era of brutality and scathing criticism pioneered by Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsay and Tyra Banks, and returns viewers to a time when reality TV was still very much organic.

It is both interesting and aesthetically pleasing to see the shifting synergy between designers’ signature fashion styles translated onto the runway.

Artistry and innovation appear to exert the most influence on the judges’ decisions. However, as the battle boils down to the brightest visionaries, the details in construction could make or break a designer’s position in the competition.

For Hadid, who often displays pride in her Palestinian heritage, the show is an opportunity to become better acquainted with her humor, charisma and warmth. It is yet another win for the Arab community, as we celebrate a face proudly representing us.

The show’s only flaw is that all its contestants are based in the US, while its first season included an array of international designers. This was an unexpected move given that the show’s previous winner, Minju Kim, is from South Korea.

And while launching the winner’s collection on a rental e-commerce platform makes it more accessible and affordable for viewers, this too is only the case if you live in the US.

Despite its overall triumph, this season was out of step with the wider pool of talent creating what’s ‘Next in Fashion,’ and out of reach with its global audience who might want to wear it.


‘The Last of Us’ voice actor Troy Baker to attend Middle East Film and Comic Con

‘The Last of Us’ voice actor Troy Baker to attend Middle East Film and Comic Con
Updated 02 October 2023
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‘The Last of Us’ voice actor Troy Baker to attend Middle East Film and Comic Con

‘The Last of Us’ voice actor Troy Baker to attend Middle East Film and Comic Con

DUBAI: Troy Baker, the US voice actor known for his roles in video games like “The Last of Us” as well as the “Batman” games, has been announced as the first headlining guest at the 2024 Middle East Film and Comic Con in Abu Dhabi, set to take place from Feb. 9 -11. 

The prolific voice actor, most famous for portraying Joel Miller in “The Last of Us” franchise, which is now a popular HBO live-action series starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, has also featured in games including “Uncharted 4y,” “BioShock Infinite,” ‘Persona 4” and “Final Fantasy XIII.”  

Baker has also voiced Batman, Joker, Hawkeye, and Loki in various media, and has provided voices for a number of English dubs of anime, including “Bleach,” “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,” 
Naruto: Shippuden,” “Code Geass” and “Soul Eater.”  

Early bird tickets to the annual pop culture celebration are now available to purchase on the event’s website. 


Yara Shahidi jets to Paris for ‘bittersweet goodbye’ at Alexander McQueen show

Yara Shahidi jets to Paris for ‘bittersweet goodbye’ at Alexander McQueen show
Updated 02 October 2023
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Yara Shahidi jets to Paris for ‘bittersweet goodbye’ at Alexander McQueen show

Yara Shahidi jets to Paris for ‘bittersweet goodbye’ at Alexander McQueen show

DUBAI: Part-Middle Eastern actress Yara Shahidi was on hand as designer Sarah Burton presented her final collection as the creative head of Alexander McQueen in a Paris Fashion Week show attended by the who’s who of Hollywood.  

“Bittersweet Goodbye @alexandermcqueen. I’m grateful to have witnessed (and worn) Sarah Burton’s magic on the McQueen runway … until her next adventure,” Shahidi, whose father is Iranian, posted on Instagram on Sunday.  

Burton, with a profound respect for legacy and an unmistakable innovative touch, presented her magnum opus for Alexander McQueen Saturday night, the Associated Press reported.  

Her task had always been titanic – to step into shoes left empty by the enigmatic genius of Lee Alexander McQueen. The fashion maestro’s unexpected departure wasn’t just a personal loss; it marked the end of an era of theatrical, emotion-laden masterpieces. But Burton, rather than just filling a void, lit it up. She wielded her tapestry of design, interweaving McQueen’s audacious spirit with her softer, more feminine aesthetic. This dance of duality was evident in her farewell collection, where each piece told its story. The slashed bodices, the evocative blood-red laced spines, and the influence of Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz’s work showcased an artistry that was both fierce and tender. 

No detail was left untouched. From the profound artistry of British royal Kate Middleton’s wedding gown — a garment that transcended expectations — to her final collection’s poignant motifs, Burton proved her mettle time and again. The iconic rose, emblematic open-heart embroidery, and the magnetic close by Naomi Campbell in a sculpted silver bugle bead dress, all converged in a collection that was both homage and evolution.

And as the last piece sashayed down the runway, the room — filled with powerful editors and actresses like Cate Blanchett and Elle Fanning — rose in a rousing standing ovation. 

For her part, Shahidi showed off a red, sculptured dress from the new collection as she sat on the front row. According to the label, Burton’s “McQueen Anatomy II” collection was inspired by female anatomy, Queen Elizabeth I, the concept of the blood rose and the work of Polish sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz. 


Lebanese label Elie Saab shows Spring 2024 ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week

Lebanese label Elie Saab shows Spring 2024 ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week
Updated 02 October 2023
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Lebanese label Elie Saab shows Spring 2024 ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week

Lebanese label Elie Saab shows Spring 2024 ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week

DUBAI: Saudi model Amira Al-Zuhair had all eyes on her as she walked the runway for famed Lebanese designer Elie Saab as he showcased the label’s Spring 2024 ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week on Saturday.

The model showcased two unique-but-breezy looks on the runway for the collection titled ‘Moonlight Shadow.’

In the show notes, the label described the Elie Saab woman as, “always ready for moonlight gatherings in radiant day looks that bring blissful glimmers to the evening.”

“Flowing open-back summer dresses with scalloped hemlines are garden-fresh in oversized white English lace. Wisps of citrus organza flowers flourish from the monochromatic hemlines of billowing silk bomber jackets. Chunky tromp-l’oeil sapphires, rubies and platinum chains trace a white kaftan with a sleek cape,” it continued.

“Of course, the party is never complete without raffia leather platforms, mini top-handle bags and extravagant gemstone jewellery.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld)

Previously, Al-Zuhair also hit the runway for Japanese-helmed label Yohji Yamamoto and French jewelry brand Messika at Paris Fashion Week, just days after she walked for French label Balmain.

Japanese fashion designer Yamamoto, who is based in Tokyo and Paris, sent models down the runway in an assortment of all-black looks as part of the labels Spring/Summer 2024 collection.

Earlier in the week, Al-Zuhair opened the Balmain show during Paris Fashion Week. 

The rising star, who was born in Paris to a French mother and Saudi father, wore a white polka dot jumpsuit with colorful three-dimensional flower designs around the chest.  

When Gertrude Stein, a close confidant of house founder Pierre Balmain, penned “a rose is a rose is a rose,” she likely never envisaged its metamorphosis into a Paris runway’s guiding theme. Yet, designer Olivier Rousteing, embracing this iconic friendship, orchestrated a floral ode for Balmain’s Spring 2024 show. 

Rousteing channeled the essence of Balmain’s couture from the late 1940s and early 1950s, celebrating Balmain’s architectural wizardry. With every fold, cut and stitch, he echoed the legacy of the maison, fused with his own brazen touch. Sprinklings of the petit pois (polka dot), a staple from Monsieur Balmain’s era, added whimsy amid the blossoming rose narrative. 


Rami Al-Ali is first Syrian designer to be recognized by Business of Fashion list

Rami Al-Ali is first Syrian designer to be recognized by Business of Fashion list
Updated 01 October 2023
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Rami Al-Ali is first Syrian designer to be recognized by Business of Fashion list

Rami Al-Ali is first Syrian designer to be recognized by Business of Fashion list

DUBAI: Middle Eastern designer Rami Al-Ali has become the first Syrian fashion designer to be included in the BoF 500 list, the Business of Fashion’s index of the people shaping the fashion industry.

“Privileged to be included in #BOF500 2023, thank you @imranamed for your trust and your vision,” posted Al-Ali on Instagram, acknowledging Imran Amed, the founder and CEO of BoF.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rami Al Ali (@r_al_ali)

While Al-Ali has had a loyal celebrity and royal following in the Middle East for years, more recently he has dressed global stars including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Naomi Campbell.

Al-Ali has demonstrated a commitment to nurturing young designers through mentorship programs with the Esmod Fashion Institute in Dubai and the Dubai Design and Fashion Council. He is the founder of Ard Dyar, an initiative dedicated to empowering upcoming Syrian talents by connecting them with accomplished leaders in the industry.


Amira Al-Zuhair walks for Yohji Yamamoto at Paris Fashion Week

Amira Al-Zuhair walks for Yohji Yamamoto at Paris Fashion Week
Updated 30 September 2023
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Amira Al-Zuhair walks for Yohji Yamamoto at Paris Fashion Week

Amira Al-Zuhair walks for Yohji Yamamoto at Paris Fashion Week

DUBAI: Saudi model Amira Al-Zuhair hit the runway for Japanese-helmed label Yohji Yamamoto and French jewelry brand Messika at Paris Fashion Week, just days after she walked for French label Balmain.

Japanese fashion designer Yamamoto, who is based in Tokyo and Paris, sent models down the runway in an assortment of all-black looks as part of the labels Spring/Summer 2024 collection.

Earlier in the week, Al-Zuhair opened the Balmain show during Paris Fashion Week. 

The rising star, who was born in Paris to a French mother and Saudi father, wore a white polka dot jumpsuit with colorful three-dimensional flower designs around the chest.  

When Gertrude Stein, a close confidant of house founder Pierre Balmain, penned “a rose is a rose is a rose,” she likely never envisaged its metamorphosis into a Paris runway’s guiding theme. Yet, designer Olivier Rousteing, embracing this iconic friendship, orchestrated a floral ode for Balmain’s Spring 2024 show. 

Rousteing channeled the essence of Balmain’s couture from the late 1940s and early 1950s, celebrating Balmain’s architectural wizardry. With every fold, cut and stitch, he echoed the legacy of the maison, fused with his own brazen touch. Sprinklings of the petit pois (polka dot), a staple from Monsieur Balmain’s era, added whimsy amid the blossoming rose narrative.